December 13, 2013

Celebrate this Property’s Centennial by Making it Yours

Other than the grousing about infrequent updates, people often say to us: “If only Burbed would run more older homes full of character!”  If only.  This Woodside wonderama features a house built in 1914 complete with a stupid street name PLUS the designer of the flipping playhouse gets a name-check. If that doesn’t make you reach for your bank-check, we don’t know what’s wrong with you.

Thanks very much to Burbed reader Petsmart Groomer for sending something in even when we didn’t feel like posting squat.

131210-upenuf-redfin37 UPENUF Rd
Woodside, CA 94062
$1,995,000

5 Beds
5 Baths
2,800 Sq. Ft.
$713 / Sq. Ft.
Built: 1914
Lot Size: 4.30 Acres
On Redfin: 102 days
Status: Active
Property Type: Detached Single Family
Stories: 2
Community: Old La Honda Road Area
MLS#: 81332003
Style: Cabin, Cottage/Bungalow
View: Bay, Valley, City Lights
County: San Mateo

Welcome to Upenuf View Lodge, circa 1914, one of the original lodges in the hills. 3 bed/3 bath on 4+ acres. Artist studio built in the 1860′s, and 2 bed/2bath guest house. Unique opportunity to bring this family compound into the 21st century. Live amongst the Redwoods with unsurpassed views of the valley. Barbara Butler designed playhouse. Award winning Portola Valley Schools. Only 10 minutes to 280

131210-upenuf-wutWait – artist studio built in the 1860s? That would be like being built in 1660 if this were the East Coast, or 1060 if we were in England.

Do you think this is the studio that dates from the Civil War, or just the Barbara Butler designed playhouse? Inquiring minds want to know… who the heck is Barbara Butler?

Also, check out the map on Redfin, this home is west of Skyline.  From some of the other Redfin photos, you’ll find this property is much more La Honda Hippie than Woodside Wealth.

Comments (5) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 7:07 am






November 9, 2013

We’re Number One! In Rent!

Take that, NYC.  San Francisco rents are even higher than yours.  Thanks very much to Burbed reader Petsmart Groomer for passing this awesome news along.

San Francisco Rents Skyrocket, Up 10.1% From Last Year

Forbes, LIFESTYLE | 11/05/2013 @ 12:59PM | 2,823 views

131108-rents-listTrulia TRLA +3.3% Chief Economist Jed Kolko dives into the latest findings from the Trulia Rent Monitor, the earliest leading indicator of how rents are trending nationally and locally. It adjust for the changing mix of listed homes and therefore show what’s really happening to rents.

Among the 25 largest rental markets, rents are rising fastest in San Francisco, Portland, and Seattle, while they’re falling slightly in Washington, D.C., and Philadelphia. San Francisco has not only the steepest year-over-year rent increase, but also has the highest median rent ($3250/month) for 2-bedroom units in the country, edging out the New York metro ($3150). No other market comes close to San Francisco and New York: Boston, the third-most expensive, comes in at $2300. At the other extreme, median rent for a 2-bedroom unit is less than $1000 in Phoenix, St. Louis, and Las Vegas.

Can you imagine how much higher SF rent would be if they threw in Santa Clara County? And there is a bit of a cheat in here, buried deep in the FAQ we discover this nugget:

Some MSA’s [Metropolitan Statistical Areas] are split into Metropolitan Divisions, which we use instead of MSA’s where available. For example, we report the “San Francisco – San Mateo – Redwood City” and “Oakland – Fremont – Hayward” metropolitan divisions separately, rather than the “San Francisco-Oakland-Fremont” MSA.  [explanation added –ed.]

Ho, ho, ho! So that’s how we did it, by throwing away away Oakland, Richmond, and Hayward, City of Diversity!  Meanwhile the New York City subcategory, according to this thrilling OMB document on Metropolitan Statistical Areas, is still saddled with all the working-class outer boroughs as well as the pricier suburbs.  At least we now know which government agency is responsible for splitting SF and SJ into two separate metro areas.

Comments (1) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 7:07 am

September 11, 2013

Beautiful Turn-key home in Redwood City

Today’s beautiful home is brought to you by Burbed reader Petsmart Groomer. Thanks very much!  And if you see a house for sale and think it ought to be on this front page, please send it to one of the addresses in the upper right corner. We’ll ignore it for weeks until it goes Pending and then frantically look for it in web caching somewhere.  Be sure to include what name you want to be called so we can “accidentally” use your real one instead.

130910-junipero-redfin1321 JUNIPERO Ave
Redwood City, CA 94061
$649,000

2 Beds
1 Baths
710 Sq. Ft.
$914 / Sq. Ft.
Built: 1954
Lot Size: 2,625 Sq. Ft.
On Redfin: 21 days
Status: Active
Property Type: Detached Single Family
View: Neighborhood
County: San Mateo
Stories: 1
Community: Central Park
MLS#: 81330820

Beautiful Turn-key home with everything remodeled. Brand new kitchen with stainless steel appliances, hardwood floors, crown moulding, new interior doors and garage door. Nicely landscaped yard. A must see!!

130910-junipero-sinkLooks like the only missing cliché is the granite. But from the picture above, “turkey” isn’t the right barnyard metaphor for this property.  Take a look. This is a classic single-nostril Snout House.  The insanely small lot size is just a “bunus.”

And speaking of bunuses, check out how they solved this common architectural challenge of too few square feet for mandatory residential fixtures.

Now, are you ready for your closeup, 1321 Junipero Ave? Well, you already got one, above. We’d like to highlight how well you play with others, as you  can see in Google streetview.

A must see!!

130910-junipero-streetview.

Comments (3) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 7:11 am

September 3, 2013

Renters Ruin it for Rest of Real Realty Realm

Stay up late driving back and forth across the new Bay Bridge? Let’s ease you back into your workweek with some good old-fashioned rentard reaming and homedebtor hating.  Thanks very much to Burbed reader Petsmart Groomer for ensuring we didn’t miss this.

As Renters Move In, Some Homeowners Fret

130902-renters-2homesBy SHAILA DEWAN. The New York Times
Published: August 28, 2013

MEMPHIS — Beneath the spreading shade tree in Laura Holcomb’s front yard, there are some 70 varieties of hosta, stands of elephant ear and a Japanese maple. For the 17 years she has owned the brick house on Rose Trail Drive in the Hillshire subdivision, Ms. Holcomb has devoted herself to her home and garden.

Across the street, Carl Osborne and his family have been tenants for two years, moving in after the previous owner lost the house in a foreclosure. They are happy to have a decent place to call home but, like many renters, they have not done much to improve the appearance or join the community.

They are not alone: the family behind Ms. Holcomb, the one two doors down, and several in the cul-de-sac across the way are among the renters who have been supplanting homeowners in this blue-collar, suburban neighborhood as investors buy single-family homes and convert them to rentals.

“Used to, we knew our neighbors,” Ms. Holcomb said. Then she gestured toward the few remaining owner-occupied houses nearby. “Except for the two that have been here, I don’t know any of my neighbors.”

Yeah, because who wants to bother getting to know a bunch of renters? They dress different, they talk different, and they certainly do not devote themselves to their home and garden. Check out the photo above, proof that rentards leave boats on the lawn. With tarps. OLD tarps. Next thing you know they’re letting the grass die.

130902-renters-chartIf you live in an apartment complex, then everyone’s in the same boat on the front lawn… renting.  If you live in a condo or townhouse complex, you might have a mix with some units rented out and some filled with proud homeloaners.  And some single-family home neighborhoods are more renter-ful than others.  California always had more renters than most other states, mostly because our property is so expensive more people have to rent who would otherwise want to buy. It’s much more difficult to rent a single family home in other states. That is, it was more difficult until investors snapped up all the foreclosures.

130902-renters-lowlifesWhat kind of hood do you live in, and are you the typical resident or the oddball? That is, are you the lone renter in a block of SFHs, or the owner of the apartment building that you actually live in (along with those rentard lowlifes who are always late with the monthly nut)?

We’ll leave you with this thought from the piece:

Even conscientious landlords and tenants invest less in their property than owner-occupants, he said. “Who’s going to paint the outside of a rental house? You’d almost have to be crazy.”

Comments (3) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 7:04 am

August 17, 2013

Palo Alto still clinging to its one and only trailer park

The owner of the Buena Vista Mobile Home Park wants out of the business, the units are vintage architectural treasures, and the residents love the value they get in the high-priced city. In this installment of As The Park Blights, the City hits the property owner with yet another stalling tactic. 

Thanks very much to Burbed reader Petsmart Groomer for sending this important update to our attention.

Application to close Palo Alto mobile home park deemed incomplete — again

By Jason Green, Daily News Staff Writer
POSTED:   08/10/2013 01:52:55 PM PDT | UPDATED:   7 DAYS AGO

PALO ALTO — For a second time, an application to close the city’s sole mobile home park was rejected as incomplete this week.

Toufic Jisser, the owner of Buena Vista Mobile Home Park, is required by Palo Alto’s municipal code to follow a specific process to shutter the decades-old facility. It includes completing a "resident impact report" that spells out how displaced residents would be compensated.

That report is still missing critical information, according to a letter Grant Kolling, senior assistant city attorney, sent to Jisser’s attorney, Margaret Nanda, on Thursday. Nanda, for her part, has said the report meets all legal and technical requirements, as well as the spirit of the municipal code.

While the owner jumps through more hoops to get the park ready for the bulldozers, you’re probably out touring as many Open Houses as you can. Let us know if you find anything affordable this weekend, especially if it’s in a community like this one. 

This is your weekend Open Thread!

Comments (4) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 7:11 am

July 26, 2013

Lovely Livingroom in East Palo Alto

Let’s launch you into your weekend Open Housing with a great find from Burbed reader Petsmart Groomer. Enjoy!

130726-azalia-redfin220 AZALIA Dr
East Palo Alto, CA 94303
$349,000

2 Beds
1 Baths
860 Sq. Ft.
$406 / Sq. Ft.
Built: 1951
Lot Size: 5,500 Sq. Ft.
On Redfin: 24 days
Status: Active
Property Type: Detached Single Family
Stories: 1
County: San Mateo
Style: Traditional
Community: East of U.S. 101
MLS#: 813236

One Story Home, Two Bedrooms, One Bathroom, Livingroom, Garaga Conversion, Large Back Yard.

Wow, a Garaga Conversion. That sounds ethnic. Maybe they’re saying you can open a restaurant here. That’s why the vehicles in the driveway are featured so prominently.  Because this is what Silicon Valley is all about: starting a business in your garaga, and then converting it into something that is not a garaga. In this case, a Honda.

Comments (2) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 7:02 am

July 18, 2013

Mawbul Kawlumz + Palo Alto + Short Sale + ??? = PROFIT!

Here’s a Palo Alto property that will be selling shortly. At least it would be if the agent hadn’t used such teeny tiny little listing photos.  Our thanks to Burbed reader Petsmart Groomer for alerting us to this winner. And you know by winner we actually mean something that rhymes with “snoozer.”

130718-laurel-redfin996 LAUREL GLEN Dr
Palo Alto, CA 94304
$5,500,000

8 Beds
8 Baths
7,456 Sq. Ft.
$738 / Sq. Ft.
Built: 2007
Lot Size: 0.96 Acres
On Redfin: 913 days
Status: Active
Property Type: Detached Single Family
Stories: 2
Community: Palo Alto Hills
MLS#: 81102245
Style: French
View: Bay
County: Santa Clara

130718-laurel-kawlumsNewly constructed (2007), Neo-Classical estate next to the prestigious Palo Alto Hills golf course. Great for entertainment, featuring 8 bdrms and 8.5 bthrms, gourmet kitchen with custom wood cabinets and an island. Full basement with a media room, gym, wine cellar, library and nanny quarters. Majestic pool, with a hot tub and cabana.

 

130718-laurel-another-kawlumHere’s PG with an actual comment, for once:

I can’t believe this wasn’t featured already. Or did it become a short sale recently?

Recently? Sure, if “newly constructed” can mean a six year old house, why the heck not?  At least there are mawbul kawlumz on the inside too.  (Sorry no red arrows, the pictures are so small we’re worried they’d break.)

Also check out the listing history!

130718-laurel-listing-history

Price cuts, price increases, pending, relisted, this place has it all!  Even a bargain basement $720 back in 2011 during the slowdown!  All we can say for sure is based on this comment, whoever owns it was dealing with three other foreclosures a couple of years ago – ALL of them in Palo Alto.

Comments (10) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 7:02 am

July 14, 2013

Agent Scammer to the Slammer for a fixed 15

Let’s have some more news about our favorite people: realtards. Or at least one particular realtard who was particularly clueless. Pro Tip: If you’re going to pull off a classic Ponzi real estate scam, don’t do it to your own friends and family. Pick people who won’t be continually reminded of you. They’re less likely to notice there’s a problem, and even if they do, they’ll keep forgetting to do something about it.

Thanks very much to Burbed reader Petsmart Groomer for passing this story along.

San Jose real estate agent who scammed friends and family gets 15-year sentence

130713-ponzi-mugshotBy Eric Kurhi, San Jose Mercury News
Posted:   07/10/2013 06:10:02 PM PDT; Updated:   07/11/2013 12:12:36 PM PDT

SAN JOSE — A real estate agent has been sentenced to 15 years in prison for using a Ponzi scheme to bilk friends and family out of more than $2 million, which she spent on luxury cars, expensive clothes and fancy furniture, according to prosecutors.

Jill Marie Silvey, 51, was convicted earlier this year in Santa Clara County Superior Court of 52 fraud-related felonies. Her scam involved convincing at least 20 investors to lend their money to homeowners whom Silvey had dealt with before. The homeowners would then send the investors monthly interest payments.

Unfortunately, there are still plenty of real estate agents out there not going to jail. Some of them might not have even scammed anybody!  This a good time to let us know your agent stories, both good and bad.

PG notes “She reportedly asked if we could refinance the sentence to a 5/1.” 

Comments (2) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 7:03 am

July 4, 2013

Declare your Independence… from your home

Here’s another Housing Bubble of a sort to pay attention to: RV sales are up, too.  Thanks very much to Burbed reader Petsmart Groomer for alerting us to this alarming threat to vacation home prices.

RV-buying boom a sign of consumer confidence

By Dan Nakaso, San Jose Mercury News
Posted:   05/29/2013 05:43:55 AM PDT; Updated:   05/29/2013 10:36:14 AM PDT

130703-rv-sweetThe number of recreational vehicles delivered to dealers’ lots is expected to reach a six-year high in 2013 as fledgling RV buyers such as Karen and Jim Smith, of San Jose, shake off the economic slumber of the past few years and prepare to hit the road this summer.

"There are just so many things to see that we’ve never seen before: Mount Rushmore, the Grand Canyon, Lookout Mountain in Tennessee," Karen Smith said after writing a $21,000 check for her 18-foot 2014 White Water Retro Travel Trailer that came stocked with a queen-size bed, separate refrigerator and freezer, two-burner stove, microwave, full-size bath, shower and beds for three more people.

The Smiths represent new hope for a U.S. RV industry that sustained a series of body blows beginning with the 2008 recession but now appears to be rebounding in the Bay Area and beyond.

The industry has not seen more than 300,000 RVs shipped to dealers around the country since 2007, the year before the recession took hold. But deliveries this year were up 11 percent in the first quarter and the RV industry now expects to see a total of 307,300 deliveries of motor homes and tow-able RVs. Tow-ables make up the overwhelming majority of RV sales in the U.S.

Read the whole article. You will learn that yes, RV sales are up even in the Bay Area, despite this place being so awesome nobody would ever need a vacation from it. You’ll also learn that the #1 RV dealer in Northern California is in Gilroy and started up in 2008, right in time for the financial collapse that took out all its competition. Finally, just like there’s the RBA and everywhere else, it turns out there are different degrees of #winning with RVs.

130703-rv-fireworksThe cheapest kind are the ones that get towed, and that’s 90% of all sales. Think of it as the East Bay of Recreational Vehicles. And enjoy your recreation today, because it’s, in theory a holiday. We know that you’re actually hard at work since there are always new End of Quarter Goals now that you didn’t make your old ones.

Speaking of the East Bay, most Walmarts allow RVs to park in their lots, and there are more Walmarts in the East Bay so… just sayin’.

Comments (2) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 7:02 am

June 25, 2013

Go East, Young Man! East Palo Alto!

Last week, site founder and still occasional guest poster burbed brought us a trio of triumphant East Palo Alto Burbed win.  Or would that be Burbed wins?  Let’s return to the scene of the crime and see what else is available at low, low entry prices, possible even for those of us who don’t work at Facegle or GoogIn or Linkedbook.  That is, of course, if you think $700K for not just a house but a business opportunity is a low price.

Thanks very much to Burbed reader Petsmart Groomer for noting there’s more to EPA than just Ikea!

130624-euclid-redfin1910 EUCLID Ave
East Palo Alto, CA 94025
$720,000

4 Beds
2 Baths
1,518 Sq. Ft.
$474 / Sq. Ft.
Built: 1947
Lot Size: 5,544 Sq. Ft.
On Redfin: 69 days
Status: Active
Stories: 1
Community: West of U.S. 101
MLS#: 81312363
View: Neighborhood
County: San Mateo

This very well-maintained East Palo Alto duplex consists of two (2) one-bedroom/one-bath single-story units consisting of approximately 1,518 square feet of livable space situated on a parcel totaling 5,544 square feet. The building is constructed of a wood frame with stucco siding and has a pitched composition shingle roof as well as updated double-pane windows.

130624-euclid-trashbinsWe’re seeing opportunity everywhere in this listing. You get two units. That means you could rent them both out to Facegle employees, live in one and invent the next paradigm shift in the other, or go wild and use both as storage. The sky’s the limit, and don’t’ forget to set up bull spreads to lock in your profits!

Wow, look at this! The previous owner will even throw in these excellent receptacles to hold the cash this place will generate! Complete with wheels so you can take them to the bank of your choice!

Comments (11) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:04 am